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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protest goes global ]

‘Occupy Wall Street’ protest goes global

Author: 
Philip Pullella

 

DEMONSTRATORS rallied yesterday across the world, including Cyprus, to accuse bankers and politicians of wrecking economies, but only in Rome did the global "day of rage" erupt into violence.

Galvanized by the Occupy Wall Street movement, the protests began in New Zealand, rippled east to Europe and were expected to return to their starting point in New York. Demonstrations touched most European capitals and other cities.

They coincided with the Group of 20 meeting in Paris, where finance ministers and central bankers from the major economies were holding crisis talks.

While most rallies were small and barely held up traffic, the Rome event drew tens of thousands of people and snaked through the city centre for kilometres (miles).

Some protesters in masks and helmets set fire to cars, smashed the windows of stores and banks and trashed offices of the defence ministry. Police fired water cannon at demonstrators who were hurling rocks, bottles and fireworks.

Smoke bombs set off by the protesters cast a pall over a sea of red flags and banners bearing slogans attacking economic policies the protesters say are hurting the poor most. The violence sent many demonstrators running into hotels for safety.

In contrast, small and peaceful rallies got the ball rolling across the Asia-Pacific region yesterday. In Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city, 3,000 people chanted and banged drums, denouncing corporate greed.

About 200 gathered in the capital Wellington and 50 in a park in the earthquake-hit southern city of Christchurch.

In Sydney, about 2,000 people, including representatives of Aboriginal groups, communists and trade unionists, protested outside the central Reserve Bank of Australia.

Hundreds marched in Tokyo, including anti-nuclear protesters. In Manila a few dozen marched on the US embassy waving banners reading: "Down with US imperialism" and "Philippines not for sale".

More than 100 people gathered at the Taipei stock exchange, chanting "we are Taiwan's 99 per cent", and saying economic growth had only benefited companies while middle-class salaries barely covered soaring housing, education and health care costs.

They found support from a top businessman, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (TSMC) Chairman Morris Chang.

"I've been against the gap between rich and poor," Chang said in the northern city of Hsinchu. "The wealth of the top one per cent has increased very fast in the past 20 or 30 years. 'Occupy Wall Street' is a reaction to that."

In Paris protests coincided with the G20 finance chiefs' meeting there. In the working class neighbourhood of Belleville, drummers, trumpeters and a tuba revved up a crowd of a few hundred that began to march to the city hall.

"This is potentially the start of a strong movement," said Olivier Milleron, a doctor whose group of trumpeters played the classic American folk song "This land is your land".

Waitress Tiodhilde Fernagu, 26, took a day off work to attend. "For the first time in France there is a uniquely citizens' movement" outside party politics, she said.

The Rome protesters, who called themselves "the indignant ones", included unemployed, students and pensioners.

"I am here to show support for those don't have enough money to make it to the next paycheque while the ECB (European Central Bank) keeps feeding the banks and killing workers and families," said Danila Cucunia, a 43-year-old teacher from northern Italy.

"At the global level, we can't carry on any more with public debt that wasn't created by us but by thieving governments, corrupt banks and speculators who don't give a damn about us," said Nicla Crippa, 49.

"They caused this international crisis and are still profiting from it. They should pay for it."

In imitation of the occupation of Zuccotti Park near Wall Street in Manhattan, protesters have been camped out across the street from the headquarters of the Bank of Italy for days.

The worldwide protests were a response in part to calls by the New York demonstrators for more people to join them. Their example has prompted calls for similar occupations in dozens of US cities from  yesterday.

In Madrid, seven marches were planned to merge in Cibeles square at 1600 GMT and then head to the central Puerta de Sol.

In Germany, where sympathy for southern Europe's debt troubles is not widespread, thousands gathered in Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig and outside the ECB in  Frankfurt, called by the Real Democracy Now movement.

Demonstrators gathered peacefully in Paradeplatz, the main square in the Swiss financial centre of Zurich.

In London, several hundred people assembled outside London's St Paul's Cathedral for a protest dubbed "Occupy the London Stock Exchange". Several hundred people protested in Vienna, Sweden and Helsinki.

Greek protesters called an anti-austerity rally yesterday Saturday in Athens' Syntagma Square.

"What is happening (debt-driven financial meltdown) in Greece now is the nightmare awaiting other countries in the future. Solidarity is the people's weapon," the Real Democracy group said.  

 

 



(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.



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